Funds for the purchase consist of an initial consideration of £20.7m in shares and cash with a deferred performance-related cash payment of up to £4.7m.
Cohort already owns Systems Consultants Services (SCS) and MASS Consultants.
SEA specialises in the development of electronic surveillance systems for the defence, space, transport and offshore markets. According to Cohort, SEA’s strong position in naval defence markets complements MASS’s position in air and SCS in land.
The company said the deal creates a platform to bid for larger contracts and enhance the group’s ability to cross-sell its services into different areas of defence.
Nick Prest CBE, chairman of Cohort, said: ‘SEA substantially increases the scale of the group, develops our capabilities into new related areas and is consistent with Cohort’s stated strategy of building an independent group supplying technical services primarily to the defence market. SEA is an excellent fit with our existing businesses and will, I believe, offer significant opportunities for continued growth in the future.’
Ian Dale-Staples, CEO of SEA said: ‘Joining Cohort, with its larger size and complementary capabilities, will provide additional growth opportunities for SEA and its employees. I am personally delighted to be joining the Cohort Board and look forward to contributing to the development of the enlarged Cohort business.’